And a river runs through it…

Yes, that would be our tent. He woke me up at 4am this morning, it was pouring outside and apparently our little blue tent was leaking. Unknown to me my bed was forming a useful foam dam. We debated waking her up but thought better of it and decided to wait out the storm which was meant to abate at 6am. Some of his clothes and my towel soaked up some of the dampness whilst her gortex jacket collected a pouchful of water. Ironic for gortex.

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After sunrise we spent a couple of hours drying out the tent and beds before packing up and leaving the Bozeman camp ground. Five miles down the road we got diverted by a sign offering a grizzly bear encounter. $14 and many photos later we had encountered our first grizzlies of the trip, with a moat and strong fence separating us. I didn’t know what to make of Jake and Maggie other than that I felt glad that they were on the other side of the fence.

We pressed on through Livingston and on to the Yellowstone Park gateway town of Gardiner. The plan was to take in the eastern part of the great loop before going to our glampsite in West Yellowstone. Park rules mean that I am hardly allowed anywhere so Lisa does the obligatory photo expeditions while we wait behind the no dogs signs. Yellowstone is a zoo, and that is not a reference to the animals, of which there seem to be relatively few. Finding the few that are visible from the road is simple, just join the traffic jam. The day’s count ended up as one mule deer and two bison(s), not the herds that we were led to believe were abundant.

Driving through alternating sun burst and cloudbursts mean that imagesome of the best views are obscured and the forecast is not promising for the next few days. Tonight though we are staying in someone else’s tent, glamping by tipi. Really just a larger version of our own tent but almost certainly water proof. The drive into the ranch requires transiting herds of cows and horses so I of course go off my head. Lisa walks up to a herd of horses and one decides to lick her jacket. They are so friendly and probably hungry following any tourists holding a bag hoping to find edibles. One horse sticks his head into someone’s car truck and refuses to leave searching for food. Don’t they get fed?

They go off to Bar N Ranch, a posh restaurant for dinner and leave me in the back of the car, feeding me the same kibble. Luck has it though Lisa walks out with a piece of salmon and a fresh warm loaf of bread so I too have a nice treat. After dinner we return to Yellow Stone Under Canvas and gather around the campfire with other tourists from Colorado, California, South Africa, England and Denmark, quite a UN.

Tomorrow, Old Faithful, something else that I will miss.

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